JUDGED BY JD: Stress Planning Success – Red & Black

Was this year’s new winter ball “RED & BLACK” a good decision by Student Council? How did the event come together? Was it a success? Read the verdict in this session of Judged by JD.

The annual events are the hardest to pull off. But then again, every one of Student Council’s events are annual… so yes, between Pep Rallies, Patio on Fire, Pepero Grams, Winter Ball, Sadies, Homecoming, Unplugged, KIS Got Talent, and Prom… it’s hard to decide on one to the call the “hardest” event to plan. But personally, I’d say it’s the Winter Ball.

Let’s start with the name. The strangely minimalistic poster that appeared on the walls of the High School and G-Building reading “RED & BLACK” with only the date and time left some curious, while most just passed it by. There were those who cared enough to ask. My closer friends who did know about it would just say, “that’s a pretty stupid name.” And those know I take pride in Student Council would asked why we chose that name. I told them, it came from the half jazz and half EDM aspect to the event. But it really just a quick random name thrown on the table during one of the officer meetings at Pascucci. The dress code was semi-formal, the first half students would enjoy finger foods including canapés, sushi, and chips, the second portion with pizza and chicken.

The center of our anxiety comes from the ambiguity as to how many people would show up, if we would make enough money to cover the costs, and we could pull off a “fun” enough event for people to want to come back. We have to expect from as little as 20 to 620 students (unlikely, we all know) to show up. Ticket sales are dead and pick up only the day before. Number of tickets sold on day one? One. Everything happens the day before once the numbers roll in. We decide how many cups or bowls of punch we need. We decide the number of Teeba Chicken or Costco Pizza boxes the night before too. The night before the event our ticket sales were still at 97. At the door, we surpassed 120.

The venue is tougher to pick. For prom, we have our list of favorites, we usually pick from there. But for the Winter Ball, we look at all of our potential location options. We’ve looked into Be-hive, a casual club studio in Cheongdam (which we booked last year but got cancelled on due to renovations), O.N. once again (last year’s venue), Grand Hyatt’s skating rink (could only fit 50 people), and lastly our very own lovely Lower Gym. Which everyone absolutely hated.

On top of that, the tickets were 30,000 won, the same price as last year. Students protested, confused, unsatisfied, and disgusted at the fact that the venues was now on-campus, but the price remained the same. As a council, we continued to find ways to advertise, offering discounts to those who would publicly propose to their friends/interests regardless of gender or grade. Most of the Student Council members had participated in this “trend,” but it stopped there. I guess Winter Ball never will have the same magic as Prom or Sadies. Another goal of ours for the future. Friends in groups of five were also given discounts of 50,000 won, from the original price of 150,000 won.

From the beginning, our ultimate goal was to charge tickets at the same price, but make each aspect: from food and drinks to music and entertainment, that much better. If you had come, you would have agreed that aside from the venue, every aspect was outdid last year. We had unlimited food, a real elevated stage with concert speakers, laser lights, a sound-booth, and smoke machine, game booths, an actual photo booth, and an improved line-up of performers including: Jazz Band, DJ Byeon, BLACKOUT Dance Team, and Jake & Addy.

Certainly, I come from a somewhat biased viewpoint, it’s my Student Council. But trust me when I tell you that I can label events that need work, events that were meh, and events that were lit. The verdict truly lies in the voice of students. But from what I have heard, I can assure you that most people were rather impressed with the event. They had no idea such an event could be pulled off in the basement of the building they dreaded visiting most. People were surprised to see lights other than Christmas lights, the dance team shrieked with excitement at the elevated stage and smoke machine, and an upgrade from last year’s french fries and sandwiches, we went the whole nine yard to keep you full. So keep in mind, each detail and aesthetic is planned with care by our officers, reps, and advisors. Take time to breath in the atmosphere, try the food, play the games, socialize with friends, and dance as much as you can; experiences like this in High School don’t come everyday.

– JD Choi (‘18)

Featured Image by JD Choi

Judged by JD: Update on the Kimye Feud

Read the latest update on the hottest feud of the year to see if you should be using #TaylorSwiftisOverParty or #KanyeWestisOverParty in this session of Judged by JD.

It’s been nearly a month since #TaylorSwiftisOverParty skyrocketed to #1 on Twitter Worldwide Trends and since Kanye appeared in public with a “R.I.P Taylor Swift” shirt “claiming” his win in the Taylor vs. Kimye feud.

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“Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift during her “Video of the Year” speech at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards.” PC: Getty Images

The feud started back in 2009 when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift when she won “Video of the Year” at the MTV Music Awards. Zooming past the social death of Kanye West, the release of Swift’s song “Innocent” dedicated to West, their make-up at the 2015 Grammy Awards, and bonding afterwards, they became everyone’s friendship goals… until 2016. In February, West released his eighth-studio album “Life of Pablo” including a track titled “Famous” with the lyrics: “I think that Taylor Swift and I might still have sex / I made that b**** famous.” According to TMZ, Swift’s management claimed that Swift had never heard the full song, or approved of the lyrics, “I made that b***** famous.” In her 2016 Grammy Award speech for “Album of the Year,” Swift indirectly responded to Kanye saying, “there are going to be people who try to undercut your success or take credits for your accomplishment.” Both have had an equally massive opportunity to defame one another, it was simply a matter of who would use which platform, and how bluntly.

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“Swift, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West meeting for the first time since the 2009 MTV VMA incident at the 2015 Grammy Awards.” PC: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

So, where does the social death of Taylor Swift come in between all of this? Kim Kardashian West told GQ in her June feature that phone calls did happen… Shortly after, she released edited versions of the phone call between Taylor and Kanye on Snapchat, sparking the feud of the year.

However, there was much speculation as to the legitimacy of the phone call between Kanye and Taylor. If Kim and Kanye really had nothing to hide, couldn’t she just upload the whole video? Why were they edited ten-second snippets on Snapchat?

Thanks to a leak of a demo of “Famous,” we might finally know why. The original lyrics were far more controversial than the original. “I feel like Taylor Swift still owe me sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” The leaked demos have since been taken down.

From this leak, a majority of the internet seem to be confused with which side they are on. In the alleged hour-plus phone call, we don’t know if Kanye shared the original lyrics with her. But Taylor still claims she was never aware that she was aware of the lyrics “I made that b**** famous.” A spokesperson for Swift reported to PEOPLE that: “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account” and that the singer “declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message” and “was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.’’ Both sides are technically half true. Kim said a phone call existed but only released 3-minutes, edited, Kanye read her half of lyrics, and Taylor said she never heard the lyrics she later specified she was upset about.

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“Swift’s tweet after Kim’s Snapchat story upload of the phone call between West and Swift.” PC: Taylor Swift/Twitter

The internet now seems to have lost a lot of attention on the entire Kimye feud, but a source close to the situation has said that with the leak of the demo, “now you know why Kim only posted an edited three minutes of video footage to Snapchat and not the hour-long conversation that they had.”

THE VERDICT:

Both are wrong and have inconsistencies in their claims. But the Kim/Kanye side have more fault in the drama. Kim claimed that Swift was aware of all the lyrics, listened to the song, and that Swift knew the phone call was being recorded. Taylor may have made it seem that she was a victim, but if all statements and claims line up, Swift was telling the truth the most of time.

As a father, West should have known better than to release a song objectifying a woman and telling people that she “owes” him sex. Since the drama, Swift and her management remained silent about the issue, but Kim and Kanye continue to offer interviews and incite hate chants against Swift at their concerts. Swift has achieved milestones before Kanye West made the decision to interrupt her mid-speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

– JD Choi (‘18)

Featured Image: JD Choi (’18)